If you’ve never heard of The Protomen, you’re doing it wrong.
In a nutshell, they’re a progressive rock band who writes concept albums based on a darker, more dystopian interpretation of the story of Mega Man.
I had the opportunity to see them in concert last night for the first time, and they completely blew me away. Their first album, The Protomen, was released in 2005, and they followed it up with a prequel, Act II: The Father of Death in 2009. Act 3 has no release date yet, but will presumably release in 2013.
Their appeal is questionable at first. Songs based on a video game? A story about a robot apocalypse? Silly, right?
But the magic of fiction is in universal truths. When I listen to The Stand (Man or Machine?), it’s not about Proto Man telling Mega Man why he turned evil… it’s about a person being relegated to a symbol and tossed under the bus. When I listen to Light Up the Night, it’s not about a scientist blowing up a robotic control tower, it’s about the power of the people to fight back against a corrupt system.
Music like this is simultaneously inspiring and rage-inducing. I appreciate the anger and the beauty.
Like I said earlier, Act 3 is coming soon. Well, last night, they played a new track from the upcoming release. It was only the second time they’ve performed it… the first time was at PAX. And lucky for all of us, that show was professionally recorded. So here it is:
And to everyone out there… Light up the night. Light. Up. The fucking. Night.